What do soccer and a social organization have in common?

Soccer team

It’s soccer fever all over Europe at the moment! Everywhere you go you hear people talk about the European Championships. Did you watch the game last night? Which country do you think will win? What team is best? Soccer is a team sport, not a one man’s show, so collaboration is an important element. It means the team with the best collaboration and communication will win right?

It’s the same in the work environment. Social business is a trend that will change organizations in the years to come. To become a social organization, it is vital to be competitive in the future. Since social business is a collaborative revolution I asked myself the question: what are the similarities between a soccer team and a social organization?

Well, think of a soccer team…
Everyone is working towards the same goal. Everybody has a clear role. The collaboration is functioning well. The team is flexible and reacts rapidly to changes in the game and the environment. The coach has laid out game tactics but the players actively take their own decision to react to opportunities in the game. They don’t wait for the coach to tell them what to do, they have no time to lose the opportunity. The players help each other out and communicate (hopefully). After the game they share feedback and suggestions for improvement.

A social organization works the same way:

  • Collaboration
    An organization collaborates across all boundaries; geographical, departmental and organizational. The teams share knowledge and information with each other and work towards the same goal.
  • Transparency
    By opening up, listening and engaging with the whole business ecosystem and within the organization itself; you create a transparent and open company culture.
  • Innovation – ideas and feedback are coming from many different places.
  • Rapid decisions – the whole team is present and can transparently and jointly solve problems, individuals are empowered to take appropriate decision.

To be successful in both soccer and business it is important to have high performing teams, teams that collaborate and communicate well together. This is a basic element to win the game. So why not watch a few games during the Championships to learn more about collaboration and well functioning team. What else can we learn from soccer?

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